Thumbs up for Napoleon’s Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History by Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson. Science/nature.
It showed up as five stars on the Goodreads feed of someone I know, and I had just happened, the day before, to see a copy lounging around at the bookstore where I work. I was in the mood for nonfiction, so it was a happy confluence of events.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Science/nature.
Okay, okay, pop statistics books are a weakness of mine. I admit it. But Freakonomics was just so dang much fun. And so was this one. Though it should all be taken with a grain of salt – it is statistics, right?… >> Read more
Thumbs up for After You With the Pistol by Kyril Bonfiglioli. Suspense.
As usual, I had no intention of starting a new book, since I was in the middle of several others; but I was out and about and finished browsing the bookstore my boyfriend and I were in before he did, so I picked a random, interesting-looking book off the display to examine while I waited.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Double Negative by David Carkeet. Mystery.
I’d had this on my “to-find” list for a while because it was a mystery taking place among a group of linguists, and I love linguistics. It was not the best mystery I’ve ever read, but it was readable, well-characterized, moved along nicely, and had occasional flashes of great wit that made up for it being merely “readable.” Also, I couldn’t figure out who did it, and that’s always nice.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Cholesterol Myth by Uffe Ravnskov, MD. Science/nature.
Perhaps the fact that my dad gave me a copy of How to Lie With Statistics at a tender age explains why I laughed when reading this book, which is definitely not funny. While technically about cholesterol, it is in fact a brilliant explication of all the ways people lie with statistics.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for What Pete Ate from A to Z by Maira Kalman. Children’s.
All of the things that Pete the dog eats. If you haven’t seen Maira Kalman’s delightful illustrated stories, go read her “And The Pursuit of Happiness” blog on the New York Times site. Yes, you heard me. The New York Times. Go. It will make you happy.… >> Read more
Thumbs up to Miss Manners’ Guide to Rearing Perfect Children by Judith Martin. Humor/Etiquette.
It is no closely held secret that I do not like children enough to ever have one myself. I do, however, like Miss Manners – very much indeed. She is that special combination of wise and hilarious. Her classic work, Miss Manners’ Guide To Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, is a staple of my bookshelf; and even if I do not live up to it, at least her wit makes me bellylaugh when I am down.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Everyday Life in Ancient Rome by Lionel Casson. History.
It takes real skill to write a work of nonfiction that glides by as rapidly as a good novel; Casson has accomplished that. If you want to get a sense of what it would be like to live in Roman times, this book is a good place to start – easy to read, yet detailed and evocative.… >> Read more